Lt. Col. Clyde E. “Gene” O’Baker receives this year’s Col. Joe Kittinger Award.
Left to Right in presentation ceremony Phil Brown, GOAA Executive Director; Bill Frederick; Col. Joe Kittinger; Lt. Col. Clyde O’Baker;
Ed Fouche, GOAA Board Member; Domingo Sanchez, GOAA Board Treasurer; Frank Kruppenbacher, GOAA Chairman
ORLANDO, FL. – Hundreds gathered locally and from all around the world for the annual Liberty Weekend festivities at Orlando International Airport. The theme for this year was an “American Celebration”.
For the third year, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) paid tribute to a local member of the military who exemplifies the highest standards of military service and who has helped further the cause of local aviation. This year’s recipient of the Colonel Joe Kittinger Award is Lt. Colonel Clyde E. “Gene” O’Baker, who served during the Vietnam War and flew over 634 combat missions.
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performed patriotic songs while the crowd sand along and waved American flags. The annual event, which is the only one-of-its-kind in the nation, transforms the airport’s Hyatt Hotel atrium into a concert hall; complete with festive 4th of July decorations and a Navy color guard.